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Watching The Buggers (Part 3 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 3 Of 12)


by Tim Barcode

A play about the 2004 investigation into allegations of bugging the Maori Party.

This play is being serialised in 12 parts on Scoop. See CLICK HERE for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

Anyone wanting to perform it simply has to ask the writers permission and donate a tenth of the profits of any performances to the Ahmed Zaoui Support Fund

Westpac Queen Street, Auckland,
Account Number: 03 0296 0076601 00
Account Name: Zaoui Support Fund.

Characters:

  • Coates - a spy? - 30s

  • Paul –waiter? - 60s

  • Forbes – a spy? – 40s

  • Jane – a public servant employed by the Department of Conservation? 30ish.

  • Madonna – front counter worker at Gibson’s Drycleaners in Levin! – 19
  • ?

  • Paul – an Inspector General and retired High Court Judge? – 60s

    The story so far…. In parts one and two we met Coates, a very nervous man sunbathing in a suit at the Huka Lodge. Forbes, a brash man in an Hawaiian shirt has arrived and seems to know Coates, and has accused him of being an SIS agent on the run. Paul the older and very proper waiter is plying them with drinks.

    ********

    Coates: . . . . Subterfuge?

    Pause.

    . . . . What do you mean I’ve got a nerve?

    Forbes: . . . . Well, you’d know.

    Coates: . . . . What on earth is that supposed to mean?

    Forbes: . . . . It’s obvious… a member of the New Zealand intelligence community, the Security Intelligence Service, disappears and turns up with a briefcase at the Huka Falls….

    Paul re-enters with a tray with 2 glasses behind Coates.

    Coates: . . . . SHHH Security ! Stop saying I’m in the SIS!!!!!

    Paul puts the glasses onto the table. Coates is horrified Paul overheard him.

    . . . . Of course I’m not in the SIS ha ha ha ……

    Paul: . . . . Sir’s drinks.

    Coates: . . . . You do enjoy a good joke ha ha ha, my old friend um um Bill.

    Forbes smiles and takes a glass.

    Paul takes Forbes first glass and puts it on his tray. Paul stands and waits.

    Coates laughing becomes more and more forced as he stares at both of them. He grabs the other glass and swallows the whiskey, nearly choking.

    Coates: . . . . ( in a squeaky voice) Another one please.

    Paul: . . . . Of course sir. Will there be anything else?

    Forbes hands Paul his empty glass.

    Forbes: . . . . While you’re up.

    Paul: . . . . Certainly Sir.

    Paul exits.

    Coates watches until he’s sure that Paul has left.

    Coates: . . . . What is going on?

    Forbes: . . . . Does Richard Wood, the head of the SIS, your boss know you’re here?

    Coates: . . . . He mightn’t need to know.

    Forbes: . . . . You do live on the edge.

    Coates: . . . . No more games. Who are you?

    Forbes: . . . . Shouldn’t you know that?

    Coates: . . . . No! No I don’t know! Who the hell are you?

    Forbes: . . . . Who would you like me to be?

    Coates: . . . . Oh God! You’re not some kinky male escort service cruising the pool are you?

    Forbes: . . . . ( looking at himself) What do you think?

    Coates: . . . . Yes, you’d starve.

    Forbes: . . . . Now you were saying about you being in the SIS?

    Coates: . . . . No I was saying no such thing!

    Forbes: . . . . You were telling me about what you do at the SIS.

    Coates: . . . . No.

    Forbes: . . . . Just tell me what you do know….

    Coates: . . . . NO NO NO!!!

    Forbes: . . . . Stressful is it? Underpaid? Lonely and single? Not valued?

    Coates: . . . . What’s this got to do with anything?

    Forbes: . . . . Makes you angry? You want to defect? You have secrets in your briefcase you want to trade?

    Coates: . . . . NO!

    Forbes: . . . . You can’t handle the pressure? You’ve had a breakdown and just taken time out?

    Coates: . . . . No.

    Forbes: . . . . Or is it the Zaoui case? (pause) Or is this to do with bugging the Maori Party?

    Coates: . . . . What? What? How did … Tell me who you are and what you’re doing here?

    Forbes: . . . . All right. My name is … Smith. And I like coming to the Huka Lodge for a bit of rest.

    Coates: . . . . ( sarcastic) Very convincing.

    Forbes: . . . . What’s not to believe?

    Coates: . . . . How do you know my name?

    Forbes goes to answer.

    . . . . How did you know I’m single? What did you mean earlier when you said I’ve got a nerve? And what makes you think I’m working for … you know?

    Forbes: . . . . So many questions. Why do you want to know?

    Coates: . . . . And why do you answer every question with a question?

    Forbes: . . . . Why do you think?

    Coates: . . . . You’re some sort of spy.

    Forbes: . . . . You think?

    Coates: . . . . Yes!

    Forbes: . . . . You have no idea who I am. But we both know you’re with the SIS.

    Enter Paul with two more drinks.

    Coates: . . . . Stop saying I’m with the ….

    Coates turns and sees Paul and stops himself.

    . . . . Ah drinks.

    Paul puts both drinks on the table as before.

    Paul: . . . . Here you are sir. And for you sir.

    Forbes: . . . . Thank you.

    Paul produces a piece of folded paper.

    Paul: . . . . Sirs I have an urgent note for Mr Forbes.

    Coates: . . . . That’s me.

    Coates snatches the bit of paper.

    Forbes: . . . . Ahhhhhh.

    Coates: . . . . ( to Paul) Thank you.

    Forbes: . . . . No…. I’m …

    Coates: . . . . Smith. Bill Smith. And I’m Forbes.

    Forbes: . . . . No I’m Forbes!

    Coates: . . . . Good joke Bill… ( to Paul) No it’s me. I have ID ( he goes to get ID)

    Paul: . . . . No sir, your word is good enough.

    Forbes: . . . . ( starting to panic) No it’s me!

    Paul: . . . . Will that be all Mr Forbes and Mr Smith?

    Forbes: . . . . I’m Forbes and that’s my note.

    Paul: . . . . I’m sure the other Mr Forbes will be happy to share it with you.

    Forbes: . . . . But….

    Paul exits.

    Coates: . . . . So Mr Forbes.

    Forbes: . . . . Give me my note!

    Coates: . . . . So who are you Forbes?

    Forbes: . . . . ( tries to reach and grab the note) That’s none of your business.

    Coates: . . . . Will this note tell me?

    Forbes: . . . . NO! Don’t look at it.

    Coates: . . . . Why not?

    Forbes: . . . . Privacy Act.

    Coates: . . . . Doesn’t apply.

    Forbes: . . . . It does - it’s mail.

    Coates: . . . . No it’s a note.

    Forbes: . . . . It’s classified.

    Coates: . . . . And how do you know that?

    Forbes: . . . . I … I …

    Coates: . . . . Who are you Forbes?

    Forbes: . . . . ( finishes his drink) Waiter!

    Coates: . . . . ( holds note up) I’ll have to read it.

    Forbes: . . . . Never a drink when you need one.

    Coates: . . . . ( goes to open note) Only a staple holding the note closed.

    Forbes: . . . . Okay! Don’t read it, it’s classified. And as you’re subject to the SIS Act you know you can’t look at it.

    Coates: . . . . Firstly I’m not saying I’m an SIS agent. Secondly since I don’t know you’re in the Service, so I don’t have any reason to believe this note is restricted. Thirdly if you were in the SIS, and if I were also an agent, I’d be cleared to read the note.

    Forbes: . . . . Ah. Well I’m not in the Service. And if you’re an agent, and I’m not, you can’t look at it without a warrant.

    Coates: . . . . But I could seize it, and get a warrant, if I were in the SIS that is. But I’m not.

    Forbes: . . . . Oh so you’re not? If I were an agent then you’d have to hand it over.

    Coates: . . . . But in claiming the note is classified because you’re an agent, when earlier you said you weren’t…you’re contravening the SIS Act Section 13 by impersonating an SIS Officer.

    Forbes: . . . . But if I were hiding my identity, and if I’m an agent and you’re not then you look at the note, then you’re contravening Section 21A of the Act, covering disclosure of information.

    Coates: . . . . No that applies to you. If I’m not an agent and you are and you let me read this note, you have disclosed the information and you’re liable…

    Forbes: . . . . What?

    Coates: . . . . “An officer or employee of the SIS or a former officer or employee of the service shall not disclose or use any information ….”

    Forbes: . . . . Yes, yes. You’d think that part of the act had been repealed….

    (Continuing tomorrow…)

    See http://scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=spooks#watching for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
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